It’s a gas man …
This is Part III of a three-part series focusing on the song “Cabin Essence” from The Beach Boys SMiLE album sessions. In this second installment excerpt, illustrator Frank Holmes explains the imagery to the second piece from the SMiLE project, intended for the song “Cabin Essence.” The following excerpt was written by Frank and appeared in Issue #94 of Endless Summer Quarterly magazine.
This third illustration is from 1995 and completed while living in New Mexico. I was revisiting the lyrics and imagery with the influence of The South West. It certainly fit the idea. … the unfinished railroad ( the Iron Horse, Grand coolies, and Manifest Destiny.)
“Truck drivin’ man do what you can.” This is a can-do situation with a Navajo diesel truck from the Digby Freight Line coming out of the billboard that is lit up and spelling “NIGHTLIFE.” “High tail your load (go fast, talk fast, and think fast) off the road” (US 66) “Light the camp and fire mellow” (see the campfire) “out of nightlife” Literally out of the billboard (they drive by night). “It’s a gas man” (a hip expression from the Beat Generation) There is a sign, in front of the Coolies, the unfinished railroad, and water under the bridge that says Folk Sing, for Folk Song Singer. “Folks sing a song of the Grange …” the Grange is an organization that lends support to farmers. At the top right is a depiction of some stars and the night sky … “constellations even flow there,” a play on the misspelling of ebb and flow, or even flow. At the bottom compartment, there is a western landscape, a stove, a lamp, and a cabin with an arrow that says HERE. “Witness our home on the range” (gas stove)… “It’s a gas.”
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